We talked to Emma about her career as a full time musician, travelling the world, organising Dutch classical festivals and duets with a Pied Butcher Bird.

Merely a few weeks before Emma Roijackers performed at an intimate backyard show in Mparntwe/Alice Springs, she was stood on stage half a world away in London with The Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. Her violin is older than ‘Australia’ and in immaculate condition for its age. An incredibly valuable historical piece that dates to the 18th century, circa 1703, approximately a century after the Dutch first sailed to this continent from The Netherlands.  Emma is also visiting from Holland and her father Jon is an Alice resident who has hosted 11 underground, experimental, and improvised concerts titled ‘Corrugations’.

The high art gig was hosted in a beautiful garden complete with spectacular Arrernte country backdrop. The sound of antique colonial violins transmitting to the high grounds of these ancient lands was juxtaposed with great beauty. The performance was divided into two halves, as the sun set, Emma performed a variety of movements, including duets with Hollis Taylor. The most unique performance being a collab between Emma and a pre-recorded native bird song that weaved around each other, with violin strums serving as responses and sounding almost conversational.

The second half was in the form of an audio-visual performance, with a contemporary video art piece serenaded dramatically by Jon’s violin. The live improvised rendition truly added emotion and feeling towards the images on the screen. It took the viewer to dark places at times. A single shot of a white human figure decaying, seemingly disintegrating in water.

Interview and Photography by Greg Barnes